For Meridians, show will go on

MANSON – After 42 years of performances, the Manson Meridian Singers’ future was uncertain this season because there were not enough men to sing with the group.

“Our numbers fluctuate from year to year,” said Jerrold Jimmerson, the group’s director. “But it looked like we were only going to have 12 ladies and maybe three men.”

Jimmerson said he prefers to have at minimum of 24 vocalists to be able to put on a show, so he put out the call for auditions earlier this month, looking particularly for men.

“I decided 10 men would be a good number,” he said. “I said we will need a minimum of 10 guys and 14 ladies to make this work.”

And it did.

So the show will go on.

“I went ahead and ordered the music and finalized the show,” said Jimmerson. “After auditions we had 16 ladies and nine men. I thought we would need 10 men, but that was close.”

After auditions, Jimmerson said two more men contacted him about joining the group.

“We added two more, and at our first rehearsal last Thursday, two more men walked in who had never been there before,” he said. “And I hear I may have two more coming, so we are looking at the possibility of 16 ladies and 14 men, which would be even better numbers than last year.”

Jimmerson said an advantage to having a need for singers is that it often brings new members to the group, or brings back members who haven’t participated for a number of years.

“We are very pleased that people have stepped up,” he said. “We have some new and younger people this year along with several members who have come back from past shows who maybe haven’t been with us for a few years.”

The Meridians’ 43rd annual performance, titled “Celebrate The Music of Life,” is set for Feb. 8 and 9, 2014. It will feature a variety of music from countrywestern to a Beatles tune to religious and patriotic songs and a George Gershwin medley.

“We are excited for the show,” said Jimmerson. “Several people have said they really like the music.”